P18721: Value Re-Engineering for Additive Manufacturing
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Subsystem Build & Test

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Subsystem Level Build & Test Phase

During this phase, the team planned to have discussions with local vendors that are known to have production level AD capabilities, most of whom Gleason already had NDAs set up with. Through these discussions, the team was hoping to obtain quotes including lead time and cost of printing parts, and to select a 'winning' vendor that we would order our first part(s) from. Unfortunately, no local vendors supply the materials that are needed to make parts to the specifications that are needed.

Because of this, the team has been forced to look elsewhere for vendors that will be able to print parts out of the materials that are needed. Throughout this phase, the team has set up NDAs with new vendors and initiated the process of having discussions to obtain quotes, knowing that the capabilities of the new vendors will meet the requirements that Gleason has. No parts have been ordered as of yet, but once a supplier is selected several parts will be ordered in parallel.

Test Results Summary

Testing is done a bit out of phase from the rest of the MSD teams for us. Because of the project switch late last semester, our project is being consolidated into a little more than one semester, making testing of the parts unrealistic at this stage. As stated above, the team is in the process of getting quotes and ordering parts from a vendor. Once those parts come in, Gleason will be subjecting the parts to the same tests as traditionally manufactured parts, as well as checking for material properties such as porosity. Like last phase, an example of test plans is shown here:

Collet Test Plan

Collet Test Plan

Test Procedures

Test Procedures

Risk and Problem Tracking

Many of the risks that the team originally had have either been altered or diminished entirely. Overall, the sum of the importance values associated with each risk has gone down, meaning that there are less things that present a chance of problems occurring. Of the risks that remain, the risks that are of highest importance are the ones that focus on time. This makes sense, as the project is largely at the mercy of suppliers and lead times, creating bottlenecks at various points in the project. As can be seen in the risk document, steps are being taken to lessen these bottlenecks.

The updated Risk Document can be found here.

Thus far, only two problems have been identified: NDAs and Materials. NDAs seem to be the first bottleneck in the process of ordering parts. In order to have any amount of discussions with a potential supplier, NDAs must be signed to protect the assets of each company. The problem with this is that it takes time to get NDAs signed; each company must receive the document, have their legal department look it over, sign it, and return it. Every new company that the team talks to must go through this process before any legitimate progress is made, which is why it is problematic. The second problem is material selection. Local AD vendors do not have the material selection needed to print parts to the requirements needed by Gleason. That means that new companies need to be researched, and new communications need to be established with these companies, including new NDAs. This is another problem that adds time onto the length of the project. One way to lessen this problem is by researching new companies in parallel so that there is always a backup, so the team has started doing this.

The updated Problem Tracker is located here.

Functional Demo Materials

Plans for next phase

The team would like to have enough time to make corrections and/or go further with the project once the first set of parts are in. Since the upcoming phase is the penultimate phase of MSD II, the only way to make sure there is enough time is by having the first set of parts come in by the end of the phase. This will allow testing to occur, corrections to be made, and the overall process to be refined so that the team is able to give a step by step list of things to do when ordering a part with AM.

The individual plans for next phase can be found here: Plans For Next Phase


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